Performance meets cruiser in this beautiful French boat. Diesel performance with 185 hours on the 370 hp Volvo engines with joystick docking. great open design with a retractable hardtop!! This boat is loaded with cockpit options from hydraulic platform to full luxurious teak all the way from the platform throughout the cockpit! The Leader 40 also has a cockpit refrigerator and cockpit air condition! The Helm along with fantastic Volvo gauges and controls also has a full Simrad touch screen chart plotter for all your navigation needs and also gauge and stereo compatible.
The Leader 40 was designed to be a capable cruiser with sterndrive power. She was planned from the start as an extension of the Leader lineup, and now as the flagship of the Series she exemplifies all that Leader has to offer in terms of usability and functionality. This boat is the first model of a renewal of the Leader Line, so expect more models in this style to appear soon!
Which is the Master and Which is the Guest Stateroom? Usually the distinction is pretty clear but in this case both have features that blur the line between owner and guest.
The forward stateroom seems to be the contender for owner's rights as it has a single queen-sized berth, a large hanging locker and a private entrance to the head. However, even though the aft stateroom has dual berths, it can be converted to a queen with a filler cushion, and it has a desk that reveals a sink for convenient cleanups before turning in and a separate settee with a view out the hullside windows. It can also be used as a third berth.
So who wins? A quick survey around the BoatTEST.com office showed an even split, so we'll leave it up to the owners to decide for themselves.
Headroom in the forward stateroom is 6'4" (1.9 m) while in the aft stateroom it's 6'1" (1.85 m).
Trunk Storage Taken to the Next Level. We've seen trunk storage in this class of boat before and it usually consists of a hatch at the transom that opens to reveal limited storage for fenders and lines, maybe a shore cord. But that's about it. Here, the storage compartment runs all the way under the aft sun lounge, and it's even got a separate compartment to the side to hold even more. Jeanneau says it is big enough to hold a life raft together with a deflated tender and its auxiliary engine
A Place for Everything. Every boat has items that need to be stored. With the Leader 40 everything that needs a place has a dedicated space. The filler cushions for the twin berths? They're actually the seat back cushions that one of the berths utilizes when sitting. The boards to support the cushion? They slide out from under the berth. Cutting surfaces on the galley counter... they slide into position under the counter.
Extendable Forward Berth. The design team at Leader has created a 6'6'' (2 m) long forward island berth for sleeping. By day, the foot of the bed can be folded down to create more sitting room. By using this simple device, Leader has created more utility below
We tested the Leader 40 on a fairly snotty day in the Mediterranean and she showed herself handling the conditions quite well. Naturally, if we pushed her to her limits in a head sea at full speed, she gave a pounding ride, but dialed back to a more comfortable cruise setting had her cutting nicely through the waves with little discomfort and no creaking or groaning of any components.
She did produce a wet ride but under the conditions -- 25 knot winds and 3' 4' seas -- we'd expect nothing less. The large wipers did a good job of keeping the windshield cleared and we also came to appreciate not only the self-returning feature when switched off, but also the freshwater washdown integrated into each blade.
In Beam and Following Seas. She was clearly at home in these conditions but more so when taking the seas on the beam. She kept a level keel and simply rode up and down the waves and managed to do so at any speed. In following seas, she had enough buoyancy to her bows that we saw no tendency towards stuffing the bow but we did back off from maximum speed to a more subtle cruise speed to keep the ride most comfortable.
In Head Seas. It was the head seas that gave the roughest ride, but again, that's always the case with any boat. It was just a matter of finding her niche speed and then letting her ride through it and do her thing. We would have had no hesitation about continuing on for hours once that "sweet spot" of speed was found, and it was an easy target to nail, and would be in any conditions.
Joystick. Back at the dock we put the sterndrive joystick to the test and as expected, it performed flawlessly. We were Mediterranean-moored and had to slide in between two other boats with exact precision, but the joystick made it an effortless endeavor, even with a stiff wind blowing us off the quay.